$600 million Powerball jackpot attracts players

 

Her customers all had the same story to tell Jennifer Kim when they lined up Friday to buy lottery tickets for a $600 million payout.

“They say they want to be rich and see their children be rich,” said Kim, the owner of Coli­seum BP at Walton Way and Eighth Street.

Powerball ticket sales have soared since no one matched all six numbers for Wednes­day’s $360 million jackpot. The jackpot has climbed to $600 million, surpassing the record of $588 million in November.

The winner has a choice of $600 million spread over 29 years and 30 payments or the cash option of $376.9 million. All but seven states have the opportunity to play.

Shalanda Tucker, a cashier at Greg’s Gas Plus at 411 Georgia Ave. in North Augusta, wasn’t aware of how high the jackpot had gotten.

“Now I have to buy a ticket,” she said as she looked at the computer. “I mean, why not?”

Kim said most of her lottery customers are loyal to their game and come almost every day, but business increases when the jackpot is this high. Individuals and groups are coming in to rack up on tickets. She has seen some individual sales of more than $200.

“People like to play,” she said.

Powerball players weren’t the only ones causing a frenzy. The Mega Millions jackpot was up to $190 million.

Tucker said she was seeing more customers interested in Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing.

By Saturday, cashiers said, they expect the number of players interested in Powerball to increase even more.

At first, Tucker said she didn’t know what she would do if she won, but she quickly changed her mind.

“I’d put in my two weeks’ notice,” she said, laughing. “They know if I hit the lotto, I’d quit. I’ve already told them.”

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